January 15, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

SLJ Controversial Books Survey: Comments About Book Challenges

In SLJ’s 2016 Controversial Books Survey, we asked school librarians to tell us about a book challenge they had personally experienced or to communicate other information about this topic.
Here’s what they said.

D.I.Y. Censorship: An Infographic

Download this visual representation of key findings in SLJ’s 2016 Controversial Books Survey of school librarians, exploring self-censorship.

SLJ Controversial Book Survey: Comments About Age-Appropriateness

SLJ’s 2016 Controversial Books survey asked school librarians how they determined if a book is age-appropriate. Here’s what they said.

SLJ Controversial Books Survey: Word Clouds

School librarians mentioned these terms the most in their their answers to two questions in SLJ’s 2016 survey, which explores self-censorship.

Unnatural Selection: More Librarians Are Self-Censoring

Restricting books with controversial content is on the rise in school libraries, according to SLJ’s 2016 Controversial Books Survey, which explores self-censorship.

This article was published in School Library Journal's October 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

All Schools Need Book Challenge Policies

Jamie LaRue, director of ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, responds to SLJ‘s survey and points to resources that help librarians create policies and field challenges.

Comparing Librarians’ and Teachers’ Self-Censoring Patterns

Our survey confirms impressions the NCAC and NCTE have gained from intervening in book censorship controversies around the county.

A Censorship Simulator and Lesson | “Westport Independent”

For educators looking for a multimedia approach to teaching about censorship as Banned Books Week nears, Westport Independent may be just the platform.

When Book Sharing Backfires|Scales on Censorship

A parent objects when a first grader shares “Captain Underpants”; contending with parents who say their children are gifted.

This article was published in School Library Journal's August 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

When the censorship comes from within: Reflections on Kate Messner being dis-invited to a school

You may or may not have heard of the controversy surrounding Kate Messner’s book The Seventh Wish. If you haven’t, you can catch up with it on Kate’s blog. You should probably start with this post and work your way back. For those of you on a schedule, however, essentially Kate was uninvited (with less than […]

“This One Summer” Restored to Henning, MN, School District Library, with Restrictions

The award-winning graphic novel This One Summer has come under fire again, this time in Henning, MN.

“Looking for Alaska” Stays in Curriculum in Lebanon, KY

The controversial teen novel by John Green came under heavy fire in one high school—but in a victory for “freedom to read,” the merits of its use prevailed.

Courting Controversy? | Scales on Censorship

Assigning a recently challenged book; teachers’ political views; classroom book selection policies.

This article was published in School Library Journal's April 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Experts Focus on Censorship at Bank Street Conference

At “Who Are You To Say?”, an event held in New York City on April 16, authors and kid lit experts weighed in on where to draw the line between being aware and censoring.

Virginia Bill Requires Educators to Offer Alternative Book Option Upon Request

The protests of one mom, who didn’t want her son reading Toni Morrison’s “Beloved,” led to legislation that would require an “opt-out” option for assigned literature.

Florida High Schools Restrict Access to “This One Summer”

In response to a complaint from a parent of an elementary school student, three high school libraries in Florida have restricted access to the award-winning This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki.

Freeing writers AND readers

I agree with Allie Jane Bruce that “kids say this stuff” is a piss-poor reason for racist language in books for children. It’s a piss-poor reason generally, as the point of fiction has never been to mimic reality, which rarely makes nearly as much sense as even the most hackneyed novel. Fiction is always selecting: as Miss Binney explained to Ramona, […]

The post Freeing writers AND readers appeared first on The Horn Book.

Assessing Controversial Books | Scales on Censorship

Should libraries that already purchased books based on their starred reviews keep or withdraw them because of subsequent controversies?

This article was published in School Library Journal's February 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

So People Disagree. Is This a Problem? | Up for Debate

Withdrawing a book from circulation—which makes it disappear as effectively as burning—is a dangerous course. The book is gone. By the same logic, other books will also disappear, or never be written. But there’s another compelling cause for concern: Censorship often works against those who are the most marginalized—historically, women, minorities, and dissidents.

Whips AND chains

I’d really like to ban the term “self-censorship” from discourse, given that we already have a spectrum of words–from “prudence” to “cowardice”–that say more precisely what we mean, and because it causes us to be confused about what censorship actually is. As Megan Schliesman at Reading While White posted last week, the discussion about A Birthday […]

The post Whips AND chains appeared first on The Horn Book.